Press Release

RNs Offer to Postpone Strike if Sutter Withdraws

Demands for Big Cuts in RN, Patient Care Standards

Registered nurses who work at Sutter corporation hospitals in Northern California today offered to postpone a planned one-day strike Tuesday against eight Sutter hospitals if the hospital chain withdraws the sweeping concessions it is demanding in RN and patient care standards.

RNs made the proposal in a letter today to Sutter CEO Pat Fry calling on the hospital chain to end its war on the nurses and “work toward achieving a fair contract settlement” with the RNs.

Sutter has insisted on the draconian and unwarranted cuts despite racking up over $4 billion in profits since 2007, wealth that is reflected in salaries of over $1 million to 20 top executives.

Among Sutter’s demands are proposals that would effectively force nurses to work when sick, dangerously exposing already fragile patients to infection and further complications; thousands of dollars in increased costs to nurses for health coverage for themselves and their families;  forcing many nurses to work in hospital units for which they do not have clinical expertise, posing a risk to patients, and huge cuts for nurses who work part time schedules.

Some 4,500 RNs are affected by the planned walkout which scheduled for Alta Bates Summit Medical Center facilities in Berkeley and Oakland, Mills-Peninsula Health Services hospitals in Burlingame and San Mateo, Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, San Leandro Hospital, Sutter Delta in Antioch, Sutter Solano in Vallejo, Novato Community Hospital, and Sutter Lakeside.

Media Planning Advisory for the strike:

Monday, April 30: Sutter RNs will complete strike preparations constructing final picket signs, 4 p.m., California Nurses Association headquarters, 2000 Franklin St. (at 20th), Oakland.

Tuesday, May 1: Strike and picketing begins at 7 a.m.

Public rallies, May 1:

  • Alta Bates, Berkeley facility, 2450 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley  – 11 a.m.  
  • Sutter Solano, 300 Hospital Drive, Vallejo  – 11 a.m.
  • Sutter Delta, 3901 Lone Tree Way, Antioch – 12 noon
  • Eden Medical Center, 20103 Lake Chabot Rd, Castro Valley – 12 noon
  • Alta Bates, Summit facility, 350 Hawthorne Avenue, Oakland – 1 p.m.
  • Mills-Peninsula, 1501 Trousdale Drive, Burlingame – 2 p.m.
  • Sutter Lakeside, 5176 Hill Road East, Lakeport – 3 p.m.
  • San Leandro Hospital, 13855 E. 14th St., San Leandro – 3 p.m., followed by Town Hall meeting, San Leandro Senior Community Center, 13909 E. 14th Street

The RNs are also protesting Sutter’s reductions in patient care services throughout the region, including moves to:

  • Close San Leandro hospital, abandoning tens of thousands of patients who depend on the hospital for emergency and in-patient care. The closure announcement is expected May 1.
  • End breast cancer screening for women with disabilities and most bone marrow transplant services for cancer patients at Alta Bates Summit in Oakland and Berkeley.
  • Close a pulmonary sub-acute unit at Herrick Hospital in Berkeley which serves patients with long term, severe incapacities, some of whom have been there for years.  
  • Stop providing psychiatric services under contract with Sacramento County for more than 225 Sacramento children.
  • Close specialized pediatric care, acute rehabilitation, dialysis, and skilled nursing care services at Mills and Peninsula hospitals in Burlingame and San Mateo.
  • Close home health services and limit acute-care hospital stays in Lakeport.
  • Close acute rehabilitation services, skilled nursing care, and psychiatric services, and substantially downgrade nursery care for sick children at Eden Hospital in Castro Valley.
  • Sharply cut psychiatric care at Herrick Hospital in Berkeley.
  • Close a birthing center at Sutter Auburn Faith, forcing new mothers and families to travel up to 100 miles for obstetrics care, while giving a $1 million gift to the Sacramento Kings.
  • Close pediatric, psychiatric, lactation, and transitional care services in Santa Rosa.